This weekend, President Trump spent time at the Virginia golf course belonging to the Trump Organization, marking the ninth weekend in a row he’s spent at a property from which he personally profits. According to the press pool, the president has Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mick Mulvaney, his Office of Management and Budget director, in tow.
Trump visited the same golf course last weekend, promising his trip would involve “meetings.” He was photographed wearing golf attire and watching golf on television.
For each of these trips, the Secret Service pays Trump’s own company for expenses related to their visits. CNN found, for example, that the protective agency has already spent tens of thousands of dollars on golf cart rentals alone at Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s beloved Florida property.
The president has failed to divest from the companies that own and/or brand the Virginia golf course, Mar-A-Lago, and other properties, so tax dollars spent at these properties go right into the president’s own pockets. In lieu of divesting, he has placed his adult sons Eric and Donald Jr. in operational charge of the company, and he retains his ownership role. Eric Trump told Forbes that while he and dad “talk a lot” to each other, they have a “pact” not to discuss the Trump family business—other than the financial reports about the company’s earnings he hands over to his father.
In making these visits, President Trump also stands in breach of a key campaign promise he made when he would “rarely leave the White House” because there would be so much work to be done. Trump routinely criticized President Obama for playing golf as president and vowed that if elected, he would be so busy working for the American people that he would not “have time to play golf.”
The Government Accountability Office announced last week it would investigate the mounting costs of the president’s trip to his properties. The investigation also highlights concerns over security protocol followed at these properties, which are open to the public.